All I know about Barth's Estate is what I've
been told, and I have yet to verify anything.
It was built at the turn of the century by a man named Wells who was
the founder of Wellston and was quite wealthy. It was used mostly
as a summer home and had a great location as the streetcar line ran
right down Midland and out to the amusement park at Creve Couer
I don't know when it changed hands but when I was a little kid it
was owned and lived in by a family named Walters. The woman's aging
mother lived with them also. My mom used to talk to Mrs. Walters on
the phone from time to time. My cousin did some plumbing work in
the house and he said the interior walls were over a foot thick.
Legend has it that they also had a little boy who drowned in the
lake that was on the property (the property at that time was
probably nearly 20 acres.) As the story goes, the ghost of the
little boy still haunts the place. (I've not talked to anyone who's
seen the ghost, however.)
After the Walters all passed away except for Mrs. Walters, she sold
the estate to a mysterious group and it was then known only as
"Barth's Estate." Mostly it seemed to be empty but every now and
then large numbers of chauffeur driven limos were seen there,
sometimes for several days. The limos' passengers were mostly men
and curiosity seekers were quickly turned away by the "chauffeurs"
(that some thought had small firearms under their coats!)
A couple years later it was sold again. Now known as Kobolt's
Estate, the family lived on the 3rd floor and rented out the house
for weddings, etc. They built the large pool and some pavilions
and it became the Maryland Heights Country Club. It was very
successful and lots of people joined--mostly for the pool. However,
there were various functions held such as dances and bingo games,
Despite the success, it was again sold in a few years (now we are
in the mid to late 60s) to the Normandy Athletic Club. They also
rented it out for parties but did a great deal of damage to the
interior by ripping out the large "pocket" doors that were built to
close off any room. Fortunately, they were later found in the
It had been up for sale for many years but the NAC's asking price
was rather high and the building needed a lot of work.
A few years ago it was purchased by a (youngish) single woman who
was going to rehab it. I spoke with her on the phone and she had
very good intentions but blamed the city for giving her "a hard
time" and preventing a lot of work to proceed.
She seemed to disappear when her father became ill and left town to
be with him. After a search on the internet, we've found that she
appears to be living somewhere in the country in Mo. What her
intentions are toward the old house is unknown.
If there ever appears to be a lot of rehab work happening on that
beautiful old house one day, you will know that it has changed hands
again and that I have won the lottery!!